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Recommended Reads: 20 September

With Kerre Woodham

The Sweet Second Life Of Darryl Kincaid by Catherine Robertson (Random House)

No one knows 'happy endings' like romance novelist Darrell Kincaid. She's delivered eight of them to her readers with pleasure. But it's not to be with book number nine. In the act of adding the final full stop, Darrell has a revelation: it's not the ending that really matters but what comes next. Darrell now sees that when her husband Tom died (twenty-one months and three days ago, but who's counting?) she lost more than the man she loved. She lost her own 'happy ever after'. The life she expected to live has gone, vanished forever in a puff of fickle, unfair smoke. Darrell knows she has a choice. She can stay in New Zealand and live a half-life, or she can leave in search of something - perhaps someone - else. So Darrell decides upon London, the least romantic capital she knows (why set yourself up for disappointment?). Armed with Nancy Mitford's Love In A Cold Climate as her guide to proper Englishness and the ideal romantic hero, she sets out to live the sweet second life she deserves.

Mothers Little Helper by Wendyl Nissen (Wendyl's Green Goddess Ltd)

Wendyl Nissen's latest book on chemical-free living analyses many commonly used products used on and around our babies and comes up with many natural and old-fashioned alternatives to use instead.  "There has never been a better time to focus on getting back to the days, only about 70 years ago, before the 80,000 chemicals which make their way into our food, beauty products, homes and most importantly near our babies were invented," says Nissen.

Mother's Little Helper takes expectant mothers through their pregnancy and right through to the first year of their baby's life and gives them 85 old-fashioned recipes for everything from baby wipes to face cream and rice cereal.

Daughters of Erebus by Paul Holmes (Hachette New Zealand Ltd_

The technical side of what happened on Mt Erebus on that fateful November day back in 1979 has been brilliantly explained by Justice Mahon, the Royal Commissioner appointed to investigate the crash of the Air New Zealand DC 10.

Daughters of Erebus is the story of five people who were left behind and how the whole tragedy affected their lives.

On the night of the crash, Maria Collins - wife of captain Jim Collins - was a 45-year-old mother of four girls, Kathryn, 15, Elizabeth, 13, Phillipa, 9 and Adrienne who was 6 years old. That night, their lives changed. The girls have all been successful, all are highly educated. They are all quite different, all strong, independent individuals. Kathryn says they all became forever 'collateral damage' of both the accident and the Chief Inspector's findings. They have never been able to end their grief. This is a New Zealand story told by one of the great New Zealand storytellers. It literally drips with pathos. It is a story which should - nay must - be read by all New Zealanders.